It’s down to the final seven on “Survivor” Season 35, but for one-time frontrunners Ryan Ulrich and Chrissy Hofbeck, it’s not the final seven they were expecting. Up until last week, Ryan and Chrissy were at the top of a dominating Heroes-Hustlers alliance of seven that was systematically eliminating every Healer from the game. That alliance fractured last week when Lauren Rimmer and Devon Pinto led a charge against Ryan and Chrissy in order to flush out Ryan’s hidden idol and eliminate one of their own, JP Hilsabeck. Lauren and Devon now control the narrative for the final stretch of the game, but as they rise in our odds to win the game one of their closest allies, Ben Driebergen, tops our predictions to be eliminated next.
Will Lauren and Devon turn on one of their own yet again this week and can they maintain their newfound power in the game? Read my thoughts on this week’s predictions in our rundown of the current odds in our weekly contest for episode 12, “Not Going to Roll Over and Die.”
Early this season, Ryan, Chrissy and Ben were swapping in and out of the top spot of our predictions to win the season. At the time they were in control at their respective tribes, masterminding the eliminations of smart players like Ali Elliott and Roark Luskin. At the merge they helped form the Heroes-Hustlers super alliance and controlled that, too, for a couple votes, but two weeks ago Ryan made a vital error in telling both Ben and Devon about his hidden idol. That information severed Devon’s trust in Ryan and caused him to pull Ben, Lauren and Ashley Nolan in closer in what became a huge move against Ryan, and by association Chrissy, last week. The plan? Turn on the alliance of seven, flush out Ryan’s idol, vote out JP and have Ben act like a secret double agent to keep tabs on Ryan and Chrissy’s future plans. And all of it worked flawlessly.
Devon’s plan set the stage for both he and Lauren to skyrocket to the top of our predictions to win this week. Lauren, the more low key player of the two, tops the event with leading 13/8 odds to win. On top of her strategic moves with Devon, Lauren has emerged as a powerhouse at the challenges, winning individual immunity two weeks ago and a pivotal reward challenge last week that set the foundation for her alliance with Devon, Ashley and Ben. Devon has been much more low key in the challenge department, but his great social game and expert strategy has given him 13/5 odds of winning. The two of them far outmatch any of the other players left — Ashley polls at third place with 8/1 odds.
From here on out it should be a numbers game for Devon, Lauren, Ashley and Ben to get to the final four, but that alliance might not stick. Most predictors are guessing that Ben will be blindsided this week with 21/10 odds of going home next. For that to happen, the alliance of four would have to fracture and he would have to fail to use (or misuse) his hidden idol. Ben’s elimination would be good news for Chrissy (4/1 odds of elimination) and Ryan (5/1 odds of elimination) who are the alliance’s two biggest targets. Mike Zahalsky, the last remaining Healer, is more or less a free agent at this point with very little power and could be safe with 7/1 odds of elimination.
For the most part, challenge wins have been in the hands of the three women left in the game — Lauren, Ashley and Chrissy have each won one of the last three immunities. This week, however, Devon leads our predictions to win both reward (15/8 odds) and immunity (8/5 odds). If he fails at either, Ashley could be the one to steal his reward (10/3 odds of winning it) and Lauren could earn her second immunity (4/1 odds of that). In all of those situations, Devon/Ashley/Lauren would continue to control the narrative and will have maximized their power in the game once again. Could spell doom for Ben if, indeed, they fear going against him in front of the jury.
We’ll see how it all plays out on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. on CBS. Join us for our live blog of the episode as it airs on the East Coast.
Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs every Wednesday on CBS. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.